Using social media as a private person and using social media to represent your business are two different things and you should keep them separated. The private you and the business you must for all practical purposes become two different people on social media whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or your blog. There are people who believe just because they can write a post, take a photo, or tweet that they hand handle the social media needs of a business and the terms “train wreck” and “dumpster fire” then turn up at some point after things have gone – to put it mildly – awry.
The internet and social media go through phases – remember when MySpace was the hottest thing on the internet? Still, the doomsayers have been predicting peak Facebook for some time, with researchers at Princeton predicting that the 800 pound gorilla of social media would lose 80 percent of its user base by 2017. Still, what is undeniable is that business users of social media have the sense that social media use is impacting their business, but can’t quantify the data, while a full 41 percent have not been able to show an impact – this is why strategy and data are important from day one.
|Take your personal social media private, keeping it to friends and family.||Mix personal and professional. Stay true to the professional image you’re crafting.|
|Craft fresh, informative and entertaining content and post on a regular schedule.||Overshare. Spamming and begging followers to like or share is unprofessional.|
|Build relationships. Respond to feedback, and be courteous even when others aren’t.||Don’t ignore your customers’ questions for comments, and even worse – don’t blow your top.|
|Use all the data tracking tools that are available to you. You need to quantify your results to understand the ROI.||Just post and go. You need to know who is following you, who is reading you, and who is visiting your website from your social media.|
|Stay on message. Keep the conversation on your business, and what events are happening there.||Feed the trolls. Feed them and even more will come. It’s like cockroaches – you need to have a treatment plan.|
|Use photography – whether it comes from a photo site or your own camera, a picture is worth a thousand words.||Take graphics or photos from another website and use them without attribution. You do not want to experience a DMCA notice.|
|Fill out your social media profiles. You don’t have to be active on all of them, but at least point searchers to the venues you are using.||Follow everyone back. You’ll find a lot of followers are placeholders or bots, other businesses who want to sell to you, and even your competition. Be selective.|
We understand that not every business can afford or needs to have a full time social media person, and that DIY might be the order of the day. However, no matter what size you are it is important to remain professional, personable, and consistent no matter where you are facing on the internet. Sometimes all it takes is a strategy to get you moving in the right direction and building your following.